What is Old Style Step Dancing?
Old Style Step Dancing is a percussive type of dance, the steps are danced close to the floor, by people of any age - I know step dancers who are over 80.
Old Style Step Dancing is the precursor to competitive Irish dancing and Riverdance.
Research has proven that dancing is one of the best forms of activity for keeping the body active and the mind alert.
I teach to people with no prior knowledge, sometimes people come to revisit steps from their childhood, some people come to get fit in a fun environment, if you are curious about Old Style step dancing then come along to class, or check the weekend workshop schedule.
The steps and dances I offer have been passed down an unbroken line from the Dancing Masters of old.
To add my favourite quote from one of my tutors, Michael Tubridy: “wearing comfortable shoes and practising your steps in a relaxed fashion for maybe a half-hour every day, will give you great enjoyment, and do wonders for your general well being, without the risk of damaging your feet”!
(I don't insist you practise a half-hour every day, just whatever you are able, or inspired to do.)
Old-style Step Dancing is a tradition related to, yet distinct from the improvisational sean-nos dancing. It is believed that old-style step dancing dates back to the middle of the 18th century, with the dances and steps being passed on by travelling Dance Masters. Modern-day masters of old-style step dancing can trace the lineage of their steps directly back to the 18th century dancers. These Dance Masters also choreographed particular steps to particular traditional tunes creating the solo set dances such as the Blackbird, St Patrick's Day, and the Job of Journey Work, which also exist in modern-day Irish step-dancing.
Old-style step dancers dance with arms loosely at their sides, the body held in its natural upright position, with the legs bent slightly at the knees, to give a bounce or spring or easy style to the step. Steps are danced twice, first with the right foot then with the left, and are danced within a limited space.
This form of dancing was not really competition orientated, it was (and is) danced informally, described by Michael Tubridy as “a self-satisfying form of art, and can give the performer a great sense of satisfaction at being able to beat out a rhythm on the floor, or get up and “dance a step” at a ceili or party or friend’s wedding, - not to mention its tremendous value as a very fulfilling form of healthy exercise".
Get dancing I say!
(Taken from various sources)
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Annette is an accomplished dancer and multi-instrumentalist.
Blogs to date:
-Xmas party 2022!
-Party time 0622!
-Irish News Article
-Warning re Dance!
-The Dan Furey Group
-Party time 0721
-Old Style Steps Abroad
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-Old Style Step?
-Dancing vrs Ageing